There were several Bordeaux blends on show at this afternoon’s tasting at Ad Bibendum, none from Bordeaux. They were all pretty good.
Laibach Estate, represented by Stephan Dorst
Merlot 2004 (€14) showed aromas of red and black currant with just a hint of jamminess and a lively medium/full bodied palate with ample but nicely fresh fruit and good grip; 15.5/20 +++ QPR.
“The Ladybird” organic 2007 (€15), from Merlot 57%, CabFranc, CabSauv and Petit Verdot, showed aromas of tangy plum and a medium/full bodied freshly fruity palate, grip and a nice Bordeaux leafiness; 16/20 QPR.
Frankland Estate, represented by Judi Cullam
“Olmo’s Reward” 2001 (€23), from Cabernet franc, CabSauv, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot, again showed red and black currant aromas this time complemented by hints of leather and cedar and a medium/full body with rather more intensity and finesse than the previous and good tannic structure; 16.5/20.
Moss Wood 2000 (€50), CabSauv 93%, CabFranc 3%, PV 4%, was a notch or two up in depth, complexity, structure and intensity with dark fruit, chocolate, hints of mints and nice Bordeaux leafiness adding freshness but doesn’t quite efface my memory of the Moss Wood 2001; 17/20.
Oliver Zeter, Pfalz
“Nüll Zeben Z” 2007 (€19), from CabSauv 65%, CabFranc 25%, Syrah 10%, clearly lacked the brooding depth of the previous, but was nevertheless very attractive with discreet aromas of currant and surprisingly rich fruit for 2007 (apparently good for reds in the Pfalz) and elegant shape with the nice Bordeaux leafy edge; 15.5/20+++. My first Bordeaux blend from Germany!
And now for the “real thing” opened at home with dinner.
Château Gazin - Pomerol - 1993 – Alc. 12.5% - (current vintages c. €50), from Merlot 90% and CabFranc and CabSauv together 10%.
Chosen to accompany a firm fleshed and tasty farmyard chicken, I was not expecting a lot because of the supposedly “off” vintage. However 1993 has provided several pleasant surprises with lean but elegant clarets, e.g. Léoville-Lascases, and this was another.
C: Medium/deep carmine with little bricking.
N: Elegant concentrated essence of dark fruit, cherries and raspberries, Darjeeling tea and fine chocolate.
P: Medium bodied at most and linear in shape with an integrated, elegant and almost ethereal complexity where sweet dark fruit, minerals and acidity are perfectly balanced but lean tannins are drying and somewhat bitter towards the finish; not enough, though, to detract seriously from the overall beauty but I sensed that the wine needed to be drunk and may become a skeleton in two or three more years. This sort of wine makes a nonsense of my scoring system because, though it has faults which the previous wines did not, it was a far more mature and interesting, even moving, experience. Let me say 17/20 going down.